One of the delightful requirements of teaching middle school English is that I get to teach the literary term onomatopoeia. Since most students have no idea what it means, I wanted to make sure my students did this week. I told them that onomatopoeia is a word that represents a sound. I gave examples like boom, meow, vrrrrmmm, pow, pop, moo, etc. and had them go around the room and tell a word that represents a sound. Everyone did such a marvelous job.
Next, I taught the definition of personification and discussed examples. Personification is when an inanimate object has human traits and qualities. I told them to look at the word “person” at the beginning for a hint. Something acts like a person but isn’t one. One of my favorite examples is: The sun smiled on me today so that I could go to the beach. Another example is: The moon waltzed by slowly. Students shared examples in their teams (pods of 4), and I had one person from each team stand and tell an example that was used in their team.
At the end of the period, I said, “Before we pass the review ball, I want to review the two terms we learned earlier. What is this an example of – knock, knock?” I looked out over the sea of eager faces and heard this response, “Who’s there?” Because I am a “seasoned” teacher, I knew not to laugh…but I couldn’t help it. I turned around so that they couldn’t see me and laughed. I turned my microphone off and continued to laugh. It hit my funny bone! A minute later, I turned around and faced them with a grin on my face. They had been laughing, too. I said, “Students, that was not supposed to be the beginning of a joke. I simply wanted you to tell me that it was an example of onomatopoeia.” We all laughed and laughed again. Who said that learning can’t be fun or funny sometimes?
They crack me up sometimes, so entertainment does play a role in education.